Above / The Dick Tracy Century Walk sculpture was successfully removed from the Riverwalk on Sept. 17, 2015, and trucked to the Naperville Township Highway facility for safekeeping.
UPDATE, MAY 9, 2017 / When the new plaza was completed on the north side of the Township Building, the world’s most recognized crime stopper, Dick Tracy, depicted in bronze with an accompanying plaque, was returned to that area, now on higher ground.
But for many, many months, the Century Walk sculpture has been undercover.
Today the blue tarp that has kept his identity a secret, sort of, was removed. Dick Tracy is back!
Dick Tracy will return, soon
Original Post, Sept. 24, 2015 / In the interest of safekeeping, the iconic Dick Tracy Century Walk sculpture was successfully removed by Lend Lease Construction from the Naperville Township Plaza near the Riverwalk Moser Bridge on the morning of September 17, 2015.
The 9-ft bronze sculpture depicting the world’s favorite crime stopper was secured, then lifted by a back hoe from the location where it has stood since April 2010. Then, in a move that has been anticipated for nearly nine months, the image of the internationally-known gum shoe with connections to Naperville via artist Dick Locher was boxed and carted to the Naperville Township Highway facility where it will remain until its new upper location adjacent to the Riverwalk is completed during the Water Street District construction.
According the Century Walk Corporation President Brand Bobosky, every one of the 46 pieces of public art in the collection going back nearly 20 years comes with a unique story and history of ownership. Certainly the story of Dick Tracy is one for the detectives, considering some of the inquiries in recent weeks.
“We help create public art; not own it,” said Bobosky, when he explained that the Dick Tracy sculpture, the 35th piece of Century Walk, was a gift to Naperville Township.
“Naperville Township owns the Dick Tracy sculpture,” agreed Warren Dixon, Naperville Township Assessor. “And the Township insures it. But all the initial funding, design and creation was done by Century Walk as is the future maintenance.”
Bobosky provided details of the four-step process before art becomes part of Century Walk.
“First we identify a place to put the art,” said Bobosky, noting that that job usually falls upon him. “Then we find the theme, the artist and the money.”
“I like to think of every piece of public art in the Century Walk collection as an ad hoc adventure, following our mission to create culturally significant and diverse public art throughout Naperville, now in the 21st Century.”
Once the new plaza is completed on the north side of the Township Building, the sculpture and accompanying plaque will be relocated to that space, which is higher and will provide better protection in the event of another 100-year flood. It is anticipated that the return of Dick Tracy will take place in about 60 days.
The sculpture was initially installed and dedicated on a sunny, Sunday spring afternoon in 2010.
And just as in 2010, Dick Tracy comic strip illustrator and Pulitzer Prize winner Dick Locher and his wife, Mary, as well as sculptor Don Reed from Rivers Edge Foundry in Beloit, Wisconsin, were in attendance all during the moving experience to make way for the Water Street Development.
When finished, the Water Street Development will bring a 520-space parking deck, retail shops and restaurants as well as a 158-room Hotel Indigo to downtown Naperville.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure (the Dick Tracy sculpture’s) safety during the construction,” said Jeff Prosapio, Executive Vice President of Development for Marquette Companies, developers of the Water Street District. “…And look forward to enjoying Dick Tracy in his new location on higher ground on the newly configured Township Building plaza as soon as possible.”